Friday, December 19, 2014

Come Let Us Adore Him



By now, we are all in high gear when it comes to our busy activities of the Christmas season. We can get caught up in all the festivities and rituals that whiz by us this time of year. There are parties, presents, preparations, programs, and before we realize it, the joy of the season gets replaced by frustration from all the frenzy.

Stop! Let’s put the brakes on! Let’s remember the true meaning of this divine season.

It’s not about having the perfect Christmas tree, but about One who would one day die on a tree for our sins. It’s about a grand announcement that the angel proclaimed on that holy night, “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11.
This season is about the Christ child whose coming was foretold by the prophets hundreds of years before His advent:

The prophet Micah proclaimed that He would be born in Bethlehem.

The prophet Isaiah told us that He would be born of a virgin and that he would be called Immanuel, which means that God is with us.

The prophet Isaiah also announced that a child would be born to us, a son would be given to us and among His glorious names are Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christmas is totally about Jesus; His name means Savior, for He would save His people from their sins (Halleluiah!).

Moreover, He is the true Light that came into the world, and in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. May we worship Him as we are reminded of who He is: God of Very God!

Of course, all the blogs in the world would not be sufficient to list all of His wondrous attributes, just as the gospel writer John told us that the world itself would not have room to contain all the books that would be written if all that Jesus did was recorded (John 21:25).

So as we wrap and place our gifts under the tree, may we all reflect on the fact that Christmas is about God sending the greatest gift the world will ever know; He sent His Son, Our Messiah!!! “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

Come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

God Is In Control Of Our Days

“I can’t change the past, but I can strive to do better and maintain a positive attitude in the future.”

The words above have become an anthem of sorts for me as I look back over the past year, and prepare to transfer (Lord willing) into a brand new year. Some things happened in 2014 that I wish had not happened, a few (bad) things that could have happened did not come to fruition, and there were many things that happened that brought me great joy!

Life is full of surprises, some we consider good, some not so good, and some are terribly awful! But as each day passes, I am grateful and thankful that God is the One who gives us each day; He is the “Manufacturer of Days” as I read once in a devotional book. Knowing this fact, should make all of want to live out all of our predetermined days for Him. How quickly we forget that when we belong to Him, we are to live for Him!

One thing that I have come to really appreciate this year is the Total Absolute Sovereignty of God! Everything that happens in my life, your life, the lives of those closest to us is no accident, is not by chance, and most certainly is not a matter of “luck”, but a working of His divine providence, so He can accomplish whatever He desires to accomplish in all of our lives.

I don’t know about you, but knowing that the Lord is always in control helps me to have a sense of joy and peace that literally passes “all comprehension” according to Philippians 4:7. I can trust my God to never be caught off guard by anything that happens to me. I may not totally understand it all, but I can be sure He has a purpose in it.

Sometimes we are allowed to go through things that are directly for our benefit, but some things are allowed in our lives to be a benefit to others. As those around us see how we handle hard situations, we are able to be a witness for the Lord in showing how He strengthens us in the storms of life, OR perhaps we can used by Christ to comfort and encourage others who have difficult trials of their own.

I want to learn to develop a steadfast attitude of learning from whatever the Lord has me to endure, whether good or bad. In regards to the year 2014:

I want to be thankful for the successes, accomplishments, blessings, and undeserved mercies.

I want to leave behind all the mistakes, failures, disappointments, heartbreaks, and missed opportunities (learning from them, of course).

I don’t want to wallow in what could have been or should have been, but appreciate what has taken place in my life.

My sisters, join me in thanking the Lord for this last year, and joyfully anticipate a brand new year, full of unchartered waters. A new start always brings hope, for we serve a God of hope!

We can’t change the past, but we can press on in Jesus’ name, confident that He is in control of all our days!

“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” Philippians 3:13

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

VERY URGENT PRAYER REQUEST

Our daughter-in-law's mother had a biopsy on a lump in her breast yesterday.  Today, they got the dreaded news....it is CANCER.

She meets with the surgeon tomorrow to schedule surgery, possibly even before Christmas.

She is a single mom of three grown girls.  (Dad walked out on all of them when the girls were very young.)  Mom is scared and all three girls are scared.

We all know the power of prayer.............so, I am asking you, PLEASE PRAY URGENTLY.  Thank you in advance.  Her name is Debbie Tollett.

Friday, December 12, 2014

True Meaning of Christmas

True meaning of Christmas

This year, we gave our grand-babies an early Christmas present;  we gave them the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set (with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the wise men, the shepherds, the angel and several animals:  purchased from Sam's Club.)  Although they are only 24 months and 10 months old, we wanted to start NOW getting them familiar with the true meaning of Christmas.  

Kinley is so young that she enjoys crawling over and destroying the scene and putting the pieces in her mouth.  Cameron, loves playing with all of the pieces.  He does not understand the story yet, but he knows which one is baby Jesus and he will kiss him and place him in the manger.

My 2-4 year old children at church are celebrating Jesus' Birthday all this month.

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, let us ALWAYS remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Enjoy the Moment

I mentioned earlier that this year I am trying to let go of stress.  It is working.  Had I not made some major changes in the holidays, this year could have been more stressful than ever.

On top of the normal stuff....shopping, wrapping presents, baking, too many engagements....this year we are adding Physical Therapy 35 minutes from my house three times a week....AND a fun trip.

When going to my doctor for my routine physical I mentioned that I get cramps in my upper abdominal area when I turn funny or bend funny, he immediately was full of tons of questions.  I explained that the right side had done that for 29 years, since our daughter was born.  But the left side was more severe and had just started a few months ago.  To shorten the story....he sent me for an MRI to rule out the "bad stuff".  Then, he sent me for Physical Therapy to try to strengthen the muscles to prevent it from happening.  Not just ANY physical therapy.  He wanted me to go to a specific one in Hixson.  (It is only 35 minutes from home, but a little over an hour from my work.)  For two weeks, I go three times a week.  BINGO...there goes THAT day.  By the time I make a couple of stops and get home, there is very little time left in the day.

Our son and daughter-in-law that lived with us for a little over a year, gave us an early Christmas Present/Thank You Present "for allowing them to live with us for a year, etc.  On Dec. 21-23, we will be in Nashville.  They purchased us the Opryland Hotel Country Christmas Package:  Restless Heart dinner show; General Jackson holiday cruise, Rockettes, Ice show, Craft show, etc.  We are VERY excited to take this "Fun Trip". 

However....had we NOT chilled this year, we may have not so much enjoyed the trip.  Usually the last few days before Christmas is crunch-time.  NOT this year.  We are going to sit back and enjoy it.

Instead of cooking a big Christmas meal for my kids, we are going to grill steaks and have baked potatoes and salads.  Simple....and probably a welcome change after all of the casseroles, etc. 

Also...I am happy to report that the Physical Therapy that seemed so impossible at first, has allowed me to grab a couple of gifts each trip I make to Chattanooga..........and I have been VERY impressed and the doctors have been even more impressed with the results.

Let's enjoy the moment...........even if changes need to be made.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Last Minute Christmas Gift

If you are like me....there are ALWAYS those little gifts you need the last minute.  If you need a quick, simple gift......you may have already seen this or may have even made this before, but....thinking of Vicki.....I thought I would post it anyway as a reminder.

Print off the little story.....attack it to a bag of Christmas M & M's and BINGO....your instant gift.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

DESSERTS Not STRESSED

Okay...I am trying my best to reverse the feeling of "stressed" this year and turning it into "desserts".  

Every year...about this time, I begin to get stressed.  There is soooo much to do and so little time.  This year, I am trying to take a different approach.  (Notice I typed TRYING and not I AM TAKING).

Roger and I, over the years have discussed what we were getting everyone for Christmas, but, in the end, it was always my job to follow through.  I was the one that shopped, wrapped, etc.  Last year, right before Christmas, Roger looked at me and said, "I know you always buy the presents, but have you ever stopped to think that MAYBE I would like to do more too?"  Well....one of my flaws or gifts (whichever way you want to interpret it) is I remember....

So, this year, after discussing suggestions, I have bought for our "girls" and he has for the "guys".  We have both taken the time to buy for the babies.

Wow.  A simple little task like that has taken tons of stress off me.  I have NO problems finding things for the girls, but the guys are always much harder for me.

Initially, I begin to stress....what IF he (being Roger) does not "get it done".  Then, I "Let it Go" and decided that Christmas would not end if the guys received gift cards at the end.  
And, guess what?   The guys will actually have presents too.

Not only have I let go of some duties...........this year, Roger and I have learned to say "NO" to some engagements.  

We always enjoy attending the Associational Pastor's Banquet, but this year we are double-booked and that is not possible.  

Our younger couples decided they wanted to enter a float into the Rockwood Christmas Parade, which fell on a night that did not work with our schedule.  I am PROUD to announce that Our Church had a BEAUTIFUL float.....an EXTRA LONG flat-bed trailer pulled by a large 18-wheeler......with lights, etc.  AND....the float was FULL of our church members, where they road and sang Christmas Carols and Praise Music...........all without US.  (I don't know about you, but when we first came to this church where there was 12 in Sunday School and 32 for preaching and if ANYTHING got done, we did it......................it makes my heart smile to see how not only has our church grown in numbers....grown together...they have grown in the Lord and everyone chimes in and is excited to work for the Lord.  Praise the Lord.)

The last several years I have been so stressed and our calendars have been so full that we do not even get our tree up until the last minute. 

The tree is up this year.  Most gifts have been purchased.  I am wrapping as I go.  We are having an early Christmas in Alabama with both "families and moms" on Dec. 13th. 

NOW....it looks like I am going to have time to actually sit back and enjoy some DESSERTS since I am not so STRESSED.

My advice to you is:
  • Let it go.
  • Delegate jobs
  • Share responsibilities
  • Remember............Christmas will happen REGARDLESS.
  • Sit back and enjoy some desserts.  You can always loose the extra pounds in January when EVERYONE will be dieting.  Smile.
  • JESUS IS THE REASON for the season and nothing else really matters.
Now....enjoy your holidays.  I sure plan to.  And, remember...stressed is desserts spelled backwards.